Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Beautiful Weekend in Charlotte NC!!

For the first time in a long time, Jason and I did not have ANYTHING to do but enjoy each others company and get some things around the house done. Originally, we had tentative plans to spend the weekend with our friends Sara and Matthew, but Hunter (their baby) had other plans and decided to be born 6 weeks early!!! Luckily, he is doing beyond fabulous and they will be bringing him home this week!!!

So, back to the weekend...living in North Carolina means unbelievable weather. This weekend we were able to thoroughly enjoy the blue sky and wonderful temperatures. On Saturday, we went to the park with Chase. His favorite things were the swing and the basketball hoop (The Daddy was very excited about this). We also took ourselves out to lunch at BW3's which really isn't very close...it was nice to be able to eat at one of our favorite places. Bonus: Chase napped through our entire lunch...ahhhh I love adult conversation! That evening we were fortunate to have our neighbors put Chase to bed for us while we went to see our other neighbor, Cindy, in this play called Marat Sade...it was interesting and very creepy, but entertaining which was the important part.

Sunday was gorgeous! There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it got all the way up to 78 degrees! Jason washed all three of the cars (yes, we still have the stupid Marquis....trying to sell it- any buyers?!?!) And Chase and I took a walk to watch daddy wash cars. All in all, the weekend was just perfectly relaxing. With the holidays coming up, I'm not sure we'll have to many mellow weekends ahead of us.... let the craziness begin!!!


Chase loving the big boy swing....Hi Mom!


Of course we had to try out the slide...Hi Dad!!


Future basketball dunker?!?! I think so...

video
A little video of the swinging action....Chase was really interested to the lady next to us and her kid.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Party Fun!





This year, with Halloween falling on a Saturday, we thought it would be SO much fun for Chase's first Halloween to have a party! We decided to double host the party with our new neighbors Greg and Dolly. They are from Seattle and new to the area. Greg is actually in seminary school, and many of his classmates have families. We had a great blend of people and lots of young kids! Chase was dressed as a pirate, and of course, he looked SO adorable.

This year we opted out of trick or treating because Chase can't actually walk up to the houses...next year though, we will be going for sure! All of the kids dressed up and were so cute! It rained for part of the evening, but luckily only during dinner. By the time the kids were ready to go it was dry and 75 degrees!!! Did I mention how much we are LOVING North Carolina?!?!

Speaking of dinner...I was paranoid abo
ut not having enough food. I decided to make pulled pork for this occasion. My Aunt had made the recipe and I just loved it. Now, there are two things I did not take into consideration when deciding this: #1 I have never in my life made pulled pork #2 I was making pulled pork for Southerners??? Whoa...for a brief moment I thought I might have made a mistake. Luckily I had PLENTY of pulled pork and everyone LOVED IT!! I actually was asked several time about the recipe and how to make it. All of the guys went back for seconds.... it was a success! (Thanks Aunt Bun!) We also had plenty other goodies to fill people's bellies- cookies, crackers, pretzels, candy, cake...it was a sugar filled night.

Our next big party will probably be Chase's birthday party in January. I look forward to planning (and stressing) over that fun event!



Our spooky spider sandwiches


the apple "Bad Oral Hygiene" bites


The spooky hands coming into the house


The cookies Dolly and I decorated


These were the treat boxes I made for the kids...so much fun!!!


My little Pirate!


Family Photo


Dolly and Belle


Argh!


Chase and I


Allie, Linden, Lawson, Connie and Chase





A happy baby!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lady's Fingers cookies

This past Halloween weekend we had an awesome party with the neighbors next door. Prior to the party, I did a little cooking and baking for the occasion. I made these Lady's Fingers cookies and they were a HUGE success!! Very realistic, and quite tasty!! I thought I would share the recipe I used with everyone in case ya'll want to try something new out next Halloween.


Cookie Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons Icing Glue (see below)

Icing Glue Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.

2. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and beat until completely mixed.

4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

6. With your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape for each cookie. If the dough gets sticky and hard to work with, put it back in the refrigerator for a little while. Place fingers on an ungreased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.

7. Use a butter knife to make knuckle marks on the finger cookies. Slightly flatten the front of the finger to create a nail.

8. Bake 20-25 minutes, until fingers are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the Icing Glue. Mix together powdered sugar and water in a small bowl until the consistency is similar to that of a paste.

9. Attach almond slice fingernails to the tips of the fingers with Icing Glue. Let glue dry for about 30 minutes.



In the process of making these look more realistically like fingers, try to "buldge" the knuckle area out by pinching between where the knuckles will be to make the knuckles fatter than the slender portion of the finger.


Make sure to indent a spot for the nail after the cookies are cooked. I used the end of a butter knife. I would use the blunt side of a knife for the knuckles marks...


Painting the fingernails (almond slivers) is optional. You can leave them plain and then they just look like dirty nails, but I much preferred this look. I suggest using red food coloring gel. The nails take a little while to dry, and painting them is a little messy, so beware.


Voila! Sugar cookie Lady Fingers!!!!